Being an African American male is very rough at times, because I feel that every day, I have to battle the negative stereotypes that we have: violent, ignorant, and lazy. Out of all of the other races, I feel that we are viewed in the worse way, due to others ignorance in our race. There are many times that I’m proud to call myself an African American male, and other times not so proud, and wish that I were a different race; any race other than African American! You can’t put us all in that negative category, due to what others do or are like! Every race has violent, ignorant, and lazy people in it, not just the African American race! One of the good things about being an African American male, is being that first positive experience in someone’s life; that has never been around an African American, and giving them a better view of the race and culture. Statistics are high, but trust me we all aren’t bad. Like apples, there are only a few bad out of a bunch, but in our case there are a few that are good, out of a bunch.
Living in Chicago, I feel that it is one of the worse places to live as far as African American stereotypes, and also violence. Once upon a time, I told my Filipino girlfriend that she had a better chance at not getting shot than I did, if we were to take a walk on the south side of Chicago. I told her that being an African American male, I may get mistaken for someone else, or either someone that partakes in gang violence, which I look, and carry myself far from being in a gang or living the life of a “savage”. According to “HeyJackass.com”, there is a person murdered every thirteen hours, and fifteen minutes, and a person shot every two hours, and fifty minutes; very ridiculous statistics, and 70% of it is African American violence. Looking at “HeyJackass.com”, the neighborhoods that are the worse are: Austin, Garfield Park, Englewood, and North Lawndale, so If you’re ever considering moving to Chicago you might want to avoid moving to those neighborhoods. As for in the United States alone black or African American makes up 13.2% of the population, and according to statistics from “BOP” blacks are 37.6% of inmates in US prisons.
As an African American male, and experiencing things first hand I feel that we are the most understood people in this world: we are looked down at by the way we were raised; looked down at by the way we talk, and looked down at due to African Americans that do ignorant things that go viral. On Tuesday evening, while riding the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) Red Line, I listened to an African American male complain about people pissing him off at work; he complained for a good thirty minutes. The picture that he painted made it seem like everyone is out to get him, which I’m sure not all are. Sometimes you just have to agree with others opinions and move on; just do you, and stay out of the limelight! Some people will blame you for things, when it’s convenient to them; especially if you don’t fit in the crowd. As for experiences that is what I’ve dealt with in certain cases, so I just tended to myself.
As for being lazy, not all of us are lazy; like I said in this writing we are just misunderstood! If many were forwarded opportunities to take leading roles in positions: jobs, school projects, or community projects they would! From my view as an African American male, it seems that many hope to see us fail, which is very sad at times, but a perfect example is President Obama! Our President never gets credit for what he has done thus far to make America better, and constantly gets blamed for mess ups that happen in America. It will take a while for America to be fixed, if it even can be fixed, but it’s not President Obama’s fault so why blame him? It was messed up when President Bush was in office, and it will most likely still be messed up once the next POTUS is in route out of office. Anyway, I got a little off topic, but according to report by Chicago Tribune, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz “Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school”. It also stated that 47 % of 20 to 24 year old black men in Chicago, and 44 % in Illinois, were out of school and out of work in 2014, compared with 20 % of Hispanic men and 10 percent of white men in the same age group, according to the report from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute. The numbers for black men are far worse in Chicago and Illinois than elsewhere in the country.
In this writing, I wanted to show you proof by statistics of the category that me, and others are put into. Put yourself in my shoes as one trying to good, and dealing with the adversity of these things on a daily basis. I will leave you with this quote by Desmond Tutu “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”.